China’s economy expanded 9.7% in the first quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, and 2.1% from the previous quarter to 9,631.1 billion yuan ($1,459.3 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.
“The national economy has a good beginning given the steady and relatively fast growth,” Xinhua quoted NBS spokesperson Sheng Laiyun as saying.
The economy grew 9.8%, year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2010 against 9.6% in the third quarter, after slowing down from 11.9% in the first quarter and 10.3% in the second.
Consumer prices rose 5.4% in March from a year ago, a 32-month high. The country aims to hold inflation at around 4% for the full year.
Retail sales, which measure consumer spending in China, rose 16.3% year-on-year in the first quarter, compared to 15.8% during the first two months.
Retail sales of March grew 17.4% from a year earlier, and edged up 1.34% from February.